Significantly fewer traffic fatalities in the first half of the year

Significantly fewer traffic fatalities in the first half of the year

Historic low in accidental deaths in the first half of the year due to the corona pandemic: never since german reunification have fewer people been killed or injured in traffic accidents.

The lower traffic volume due to the pandemic had a significant impact on the number of road accidents, the federal statistical office stated on friday.

In the first six months, 1281 people died in road traffic accidents. According to preliminary results from the authorities, that was 195 people or 13.2 percent fewer than in the 1. Half year 2019. The number of injured fell by 18.7 percent to just under 148,100.

The lockdown with home offices or short-time work meant: there were fewer commuters on the road. Especially in the first months of the pandemic, the pens were much emptier. "There was significantly less traffic, and that meant fewer conflicts," researcher siegfried brockmann of the insurance companies’ accident research unit told the deutsche presse-agentur on friday. Less traffic also means less stress for road users, especially in the cities. This could also play a role.

A spokeswoman for the ADAC attributed the results of the statistics in particular to the decrease in traffic outside the cities during the corona pandemic. "Because most serious accidents with injuries and fatalities occur in normal times, especially in rural areas on country roads," said katrin van randenborgh. "On the country and federal roads, there is still the grossest need for action to reduce the number of fatalities."At the same time, the figures reflected the increase in recreational motorcycle traffic. "While car and truck traffic has dropped sharply, especially in the months since march, more motorcyclists were on the road, bucking the trend."

In the first six months of this year, an average of 15 people per million inhabitants died in road traffic accidents in germany. However, according to the federal statistical office, there were significant regional differences. Brandenburg with 27 traffic fatalities per 1 million inhabitants, saxony-anhalt with 24 and lower saxony and schleswig-holstein with 22 each were clearly above the average.

In the city-states of hamburg and berlin, the figure of four and eight traffic fatalities per million inhabitants respectively was well below the national average. The number was also low in north rhine-westphalia and the saarland, each with eleven traffic fatalities per million inhabitants, as well as in baden-wurttemberg with 13 and hesse with 14.

Accident researcher brockmann emphasized that pedestrians and cyclists had also benefited from the development of accident figures, "but to a considerably lesser extent". In berlin, for example, the switch to bicycles has led to an increase in the number of accidents involving cyclists. If more people continue to ride bicycles after the end of the corona pandemic, this could also mean a higher risk of accidents, as long as the infrastructure is not changed accordingly: "the basic problem of cycling is the crossing accident."

According to the federal statistical office, the police recorded 18.3 percent fewer accidents in the first six months of this year than in the previous year. Half year 2019. The number dropped to around 1.1 million, it said. The number of all fatalities thus reached the second lowest level since german unification. Only in 1. Fewer accidents in the first half of 1998.

With just under 954.600 accidents in the first half of 2020 resulted in property damage – a drop of 18.6 percent. At around 118.700 accidents there were injuries or deaths.